Do you see what I see? / ¿Ves lo que veo?

La versión en español está después de la versión en inglés.

IN 2016, I HAD A torn retina in my left eye. I wasn’t very quick on the uptake. My vision was cloudy and filled with floating things (scientific name: floaters). I mentioned it to San Geraldo the second day. “Maybe I should make an appointment with the ophthalmologist,” I said.

SG threw me in the car and took me to urgent care. We caught the torn retina before it became a detached retina. I had immediate surgery and went back a week later for more.

In 2018, I had the same symptoms in the same eye. I didn’t waste a minute. The ophthalmologist said at least the tear this time wasn’t as bad. I said, “Great!” He said, “Not great. It’s detached.”

As a result of the surgery for the detached retina, I developed a cataract. So, months and months later, I had cataract surgery. Then, I had to have cataract surgery on the right eye.

Earlier this year, I noticed the vision in my left eye was suddenly cloudy. I panicked. Did you know that the natural lens in your eye (the crystalline lens) is contained in a “bag” called the crystalline lens capsule? Did you know that when cataract surgery is performed the capsule is usually retained and used to hold the new lens? Did you know about 30 percent of the time, months or years later, the capsule can become opaque? Well, I didn’t know, but that’s what had happened.

The doctor told me the procedure was simple and quick. A “laser capsulotomy” is performed to cut a hole in the center of the capsule that then allows light to reach the retina. Within minutes my vision was restored. He examined my right eye and said it was beginning to happen there and I should just come back whenever I was ready.

And then along came covid. The vision in my right eye went from bad to worse. I was finally back at the ophthalmologist Tuesday and had the right eye done. Here’s how today looked with my perfect vision.


EN 2016, TENÍA UN DESGARRO de retina en mi ojo izquierdo. No fui muy rápido en la asimilación. Mi visión estaba nublada y llena de cosas flotantes (nombre científico: flotadores). Se lo mencioné a San Geraldo el segundo día. “Quizás debería hacer una cita con el oftalmólogo”, le dije.

San Geraldo me metió en el coche y me llevó a urgencias. Cogimos la retina desgarrada antes de que se convirtiera en un desprendimiento de retina. Tuve una cirugía inmediata y volví una semana después por más.

En 2018, tuve los mismos síntomas en el mismo ojo. No perdí ni un minuto. El oftalmólogo dijo que al menos el desgarro esta vez no fue tan malo. Dije: “¡Genial!” Dijo: “No es genial. Está desprendida”.

Como resultado de la cirugía del desprendimiento de retina, desarrollé una catarata. Entonces, meses y meses después, me operaron de cataratas. Luego, tuve que operarme de cataratas en el ojo derecho.

A principios de este año, noté que un día la visión en mi ojo izquierdo estaba nublada. Entré en pánico. ¿Sabía que el cristalino del ojo (el cristalino) está contenido en una “bolsa” llamada cápsula del cristalino? ¿Sabía que cuando se realiza una cirugía de cataratas, la cápsula generalmente se retiene y se usa para sostener el nuevo lente? ¿Sabía que aproximadamente el 30 por ciento de las veces, meses o años después, la cápsula puede volverse opaca? Bueno, no lo sabía, pero eso es lo que había sucedido.

El médico me dijo que el procedimiento era sencillo y rápido. Se realiza una “capsulotomía láser” para hacer un agujero en el centro de la cápsula que luego permite que la luz llegue a la retina. En cuestión de minutos mi visión se recuperó. Examinó mi ojo derecho y dijo que estaba comenzando a suceder allí y que debería regresar cuando estuviera listo.

Y luego vino Covid. La visión de mi ojo derecho fue de mal en peor. Finalmente volví al oftalmólogo el martes y me operaron el ojo derecho. Así es como lucía hoy con mi visión perfecta.

From the terrace this morning.
De la terraza esta mañana.
At the beach a little later.
En la playa un poco más tarde.
Do you see what I see?
¿Ves lo que veo?
Her socks matched his shoes (or vice versa).
Los calcetines de ella hacían juego con los zapatos de él (o viceversa).
Dudo. Visions of sugarplums?
Dudo. ¿Visiones de ciruelas azucaradas?

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

37 thoughts on “Do you see what I see? / ¿Ves lo que veo?”

  1. Oh My Goodness. What a huge mess but happy all is resolved !
    I swear I jump from one health problem right into the next. I am having problems like yours the floaters were the most interesting. Just like amoebas swimming around. I see the new surgeon next !
    Most of all I always love your photo and I am so happy you can see better.

    1. Parsnip:
      Although I still need reading glasses, even that is better than it was when I had those 40-year-old eyes (when your arms become too short for you to read). Wishing you well.

  2. You’ve been through the mill and back!!
    Happy things are clearer now.
    Here’s to continued 20/20 vision ahead.

    1. Jim:
      The eye problems were a big surprise. Here’s hoping this is the end of it for a long time to come.

  3. Ugh. Scary stuff when things happen to our eyes. I acquired a retinal specialist a couple of years ago, but my situation was/is not as scary as yours. A macular fold. Have to see the specialist on a regular schedule and get that fun angiogram procedure, but thankfully, the fold hasn’t worsened. Then, right in time for the virus lockdown I started getting bizarre floaters–kaleidoscope colors in zigzag patterns across my field of vision lasting about half an hour–sometimes both eyes; sometimes only one. A first they were not that frequent, but by June they became a regular affair so off to the doc again. Vision was okay, but ended up referred to a neurologist. The long and the short of it–they call them ocular migraines. Very fortunately, I don’t get a headache either before or after, as some folks do. So I can live with it. Not fun to be driving when they occur, but that has only happened once, so far. Last exam indicated that I have very small cataracts developing, too, but I don’t notice them at all. My Amsler grid gets regular viewing as it sits next to my computer. All in all, minor stuff compared to a detached retina. So glad you seem to have had good care for your eyes. Your photos indicate impressive vision–literally and artistically. 🙂

    1. Mary:
      Our nephew is a retinal surgeon, so it was reassuring in the beginning to be able to touch base with him. I’ve been very lucky to have such good care here. My first surgery was emergency done by the head of the department. Since then I’ve been with another doctor on staff who is exceptional. I’ve heard of ocular migraines. How awful, but so glad yours haven’t come with pain. I read “My Amstel grid” and had to back up! That would be a lot more fun.

    1. Frank:
      And the parts that go bad in our youth, too. And, yeah, I can actually see what I’m shooting now.

    1. Wilma:
      Dudo IS innocent. It’s always Moose’s fault — so he says. But, really, he is SO sweet.

  4. spouse has had cataract AND glaucoma surgery. he uses daily eye drops.

    dudo is dreaming of treats and toy mice and crag martins.

      1. yes, he uses the drops day and night and they seem to be helping keep the pressure down.

  5. Thank God for a surgical repair to the eyes. How does a retina tear? Does it say its in the mood to cause trouble?


    1. Janie:
      I hadn’t thought about it. The retina must have had such a good time on that first tear, it decided to take off completely less than 2 years later.

  6. Is that TEER or TAIR? Re-TIN-a or ret-EYE-na? Vir-GIN-ya or…. wait. I think I should stop there. I’m glad you can see (or sea) again.

    1. Walt the Fourth:
      Well, here the REH-tina is actually the re-TEE-nah (as in Tina Louise), and that’s what I’ve taken to saying when I think I’m speaking English.

  7. I’ve known people who, thinking there was nothing wrong with their eyes and only because a doctor told them to, gone in for cataract surgery, only to be amazed at the difference afterwards.

    1. Kirk:
      Before both cataract surgeries, I knew my vision wasn’t as good as it had been, but after both surgeries I was shocked at the difference. Not only were things clear, it was as if someone had turned the lights on. You do get used to things.

  8. I had my cataracts sorted about 2 years ago, and have since had to have both my eyes lasered…..the second one was a couple of weeks ago. After the cataract surgery I was amazed that the colours of certain things had changed…especially if in natural light. For instance, a peachy orange sweater was a definite pink in daylight, and my grey slippers had a lilac tone.

    1. Frances:
      Exactly. I wasn’t just surprised that things were clearer, but the lights had been turned back on. I had no idea the colors I had been missing.

    1. Bob:
      Dudo is smiling because he got to take a nap with SG, then another with me, and then he got the big bed entirely to himself.

  9. Well, I’m glad you got it sorted, finally. I think it’s understandable that you didn’t immediately know what was happening when your retina first tore. Sometimes these occurrences can be pretty subtle. My grandmother had a detached retina decades ago and she didn’t realize what was happening, either. Keep that vision clear! I love that picture of the reflective glass high-rise with the blue sky.

    1. Steve:
      SG is much more in tune to these things (maybe a bit neurotic at times), but he would have immediately gone in when his vision had completely changed. I was brought up by a mother who, when I was running 103.5 fever and had a swollen head and eye, asked me if I wanted her to call the doctor. I was 10 and said, “no.” The next morning, fever was 104 and my head was like a balloon and she berated me for telling her to not call the doctor the day before. Near fatal sinus infection. Doc sent me right to the hospital. Still, I always wait. I guess I didn’t learn.

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